Sunday, April 20, 2014

When things go wrong in crochet



Stitch markers. I have some. Not many, but some. They are jolly orange, apricot, red and green. I bought them because I thought they were pretty. Typical me. I never really used them. But, it is never too late to learn...

This pillow cover project was just about to leap across the finish line when disaster struck... I had counted my stitches wrong!

The backing, which was ready to be joined with the pretty front was missing out on 5 stitches in the width. I did express some nasty words, pulled my hair and frenetically started to count my stitches, only to get lost between distractions of kids calling for Mama or the cat meowing and getting tangled up in my work... Stitch markers... Now I got to use them.

By marking every ten stitches on both pieces I confirmed my disastrous mishap (Oh my! I can't believe this! ALL this work for nothing???) and accepted the fact that some frogging was to take place. And some starting all over.

Well, worst things can happen, right. I better get started if I want this pillow done in anytime soon. Knowing me, who start on multiple projects every other day, this project might just end up on a shelf otherwise and to be truly honest... It is waaay to pretty for that.

So to avoid making the same mistake as me, get yourself some pretty stitch markers and get them to work. I am going to get myself some more for sure and use them very frequently in my designing processes. For sure. I have learned something new, the hard way. The best way to learn.



Kärlek
Annette




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Monday, April 14, 2014

When facing change

Change. A word that can signal discomfort or excitement. At first you might feel paralysed. It might make you wonder if you will come out of this whole or broken. If you can do it. It's a great challenge. How will you handle the change?

Then something happens. You will find strength and energy to deal with your change. Ideas start to pop up in your head. You take actions you would never have done before. You make things happen and you grow. Oh my, you grow. You grow bigger, wiser, stronger. You faced the fear with the change and stepped out of your comfort zone. And you survived.

We are facing changes. Big changes. Or maybe it is not such big changes after all. Maybe I only think it is big because it feels incredibly big. But any change can feel overwhelming at first. A simple thing such as changing brand of your toothpaste or shopping at a different grocery store than the one you always go for can be like climbing Mount Everest. Trying a new hair cut can be something you ponder for years before doing it... Not wearing make up when you are used to always wear it might feel the same as walking around naked. It is all about breaking out of your comfort zone. Our secure little place not bigger than a hoola hoop around us. Did you know that 90% of us never step out of our comfort zones?

I have faced a lot of changes in my life. I have come to embrace change when it happens. Still I go through that whole process of fear, paralysis, finding strength and turning all the different energies into action. I have stepped out of my comfort zone many times now. I have grown. I have almost become addicted to it. The first time I did it I quit my job as a graphic designer and took a time out from my ordinary life. The change somehow brought me to the Seychelles where I met my love. Since then the changes has been many; moving abroad, having children, moving from one continent to another, learning new languages, facing new cultures, finding new friends, finding new me, facing traumas and the unexpected, being without money, being with money, living big, living small...

I am not that scared anymore. When change appears I know I can handle it. I need change. Change is always an adventure... But still a bit scary... I am curious to see where our change will take us this time. Only time will tell...

Kärlek
Annette




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Friday, April 11, 2014

The silver lining




In less than a few minutes of publishing my last moaning post, things turned around thanks to you. The support and encouragement in your sweet words really made my day. So all I want to say is THANK YOU for being there in good times and bad times. Wednesday might have started off a bit rocky but there was many golden moments to enjoy. Just look at my collection of happy moments:

♥︎ Reading all the wonderful and encouraging comments on that post - You are simply the best!
♥︎ Understanding I'm not alone.
♥︎ Packing and shipping yarn orders and getting inspired by the color choices of my buyers.
♥︎ A nice painting-egg get together with some friends and their girls which ended up in face, and later body painting, for the kids and big dives into our freezing cold fountain - Yeeeps!
♥︎ The beauty of my totally wild and uncontrollable garden in spring blossoms - LOVE!
♥︎ A large bouquet of pink tulips bought at the grocery store.
♥︎ Messages from ladies wanting to attend my Flower crochet workshop on Thursday night.
♥︎ The look of my Maybelle flowers growing in numbers.
♥︎ Another crochet project slowly reaching the finish line...
♥︎ Falling asleep at 8.30 pm on top of my bed sheets in my clothing with my book on my chest and choosing to swop into PJs and continue to sleep.

Wednesday was after all a wonderful day. That proves that there is always a silver lining... It is just a question of seeing it.



Kärlek
Annette




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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

When Blogging v. Life becomes a fight



This is supposed to be my happy place. My Rose Valley. The place where I get creative and find peace within my artistic soul. A place where I share, teach and learn and focus on my happy moments in life, the silver lining. The cherry on top. The sugar sprinkles on the cinnamon bun. All the glimpses of good behind all the piles of chores and everyday routines, hard work, organizing, fights, problem solving, responsibilities, serving and teaching.

This is supposed to be the place where I can breathe, close my eyes and escape. Where I can dream and create the life the way I want it to be - full of color therapy, crochet stitches, designs, sunshine, laughter, pretty flowers, cheerful moments, satisfaction. But today I find myself trapped and frustrated. Sad and angry. Today my happy place is a whining overwhelmed blog post from a woman in her 40's who wants more time. More structure. Less picking up Lego pieces and more time to do her happy things. She needs to stop playing catch up. She needs an efficient infrastructure of her life. She needs more time. That woman is, yes you guessed it - me!

I am not great at time management. Ask anyone and they will tell you I am always at least 5 minutes late for everything. I love to write lists, but list writing is more a way to let go of all the ideas, thoughts, musts and "Don't forget" in my head than to actually tick them off one by one. I procrastinate a lot. I mean A LOT. Changing a light bulb can take weeks if not months. And once it is done I wonder why I didn't do it a long time ago instead of having it simmering in the back of my head like a thorn in my side hurting me, stressing me, constantly reminding me. Like getting rubbed on a soar spot over and over again...

Is this a typical female thing I wonder... This thing of taking on ALL the small things that needs to be done (making appointments, buying gifts, sending cards, calling people, organizing closets, cleaning wardrobes, fixing ripped clothes, making sure all school papers are read and signed, that the flowers are watered, that the left overs are eaten or thrown out, that the bills are paid, that Uncle George is congratulated, that we never run out of milk or mustard or God forbid the important odd ingredient Sesame oil (!!!), that everyone is happy...), in our heads just to become totally overwhelmed one day and burst. Like a computer with its memory full - BEEP! You push that last save, ignoring the warning button, and BOOM! The computer crashes.

So I need time. I am not kidding when I say I need at least an 8 day week or a 30 hour day. My 24 hours are not enough. Or, more realistic, I have to many things going on in my life. I need to de-clutter my tasks, my obligations, my chores, my responsibilities, my brain. But where shall I start? How shall I prioritize? What has to go? What can stay?

I am up to a big challenge. My Rose Valley time might have to be cut. Although that is the last thing I want to do. but what do you do in a situation like this when you have to make painful choices. I so wish I could do this every day instead of sitting in a boring office. I so wish I could design one pattern after another if it wasn't for the big spring clean, birthday month, Easter break, starting the garden month... So today I am a bit of a whiner and maybe I just need to let the steam out to be able to move on. Tomorrow is another day.

Today my tulips are blossoming. They are gorgeous. And soon the Wisteria will be in full bloom too at the front of my house. And I am preparing crochet class for tomorrow on the theme Making Flowers which I am soooo looking forward to. And my home looks like a war field including spiders, dust bunnies and mixed and mis-matched stuff in every drawer and basket, corner and step and surface... Maybe I should just take a month off everything and catch up? Would that help I wonder... If I find a magic solution I promise to let you know.

PS 1: This whining blog post is an exception. 99% of the time this is a happy place still. In case anyone thought they had come to a whiny place... :D

PS 2:  I'm only human if anyone wondered...




Kärlek
Annette






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